There are a lot of reasons a perfectly normal person would buy a floating money pit—er, sailboat—and decide to go messing about on the water. What are yours? Why do you enjoy cruising or boating? Let me know in the Comments below.
I may not be a “perfectly normal” person, but I have my reasons for cruising. And I have a feeling you can relate…
Enough Technology, Already!
So, I pretty much make my living using technology. (A fact which, much to my dismay, both The Admiral and my father have discovered. Apparently I’m an IT guy as well.)
Some of the most foul, vulgar, and surrealistic phrases come out of my mouth when I have issues with technology. Which is approximately…daily.
Technology makes our lives easier. And it can make them more stressful. (Case in point: Just now I accidentally inserted an unwanted hyperlink into this paragraph, and I can’t repeat the string of words that flew out of my mouth.)
We live, and make a living, by speed. How much can we get done how fast? What gadgets and software and workflow tweaks can we leverage to git ‘r dun?
Also, there is what I might call the “water bug effect.” That is, in order to keep afloat as a multimedia ninja, I have to keep moving on the surface of the water doing different kinds of tasks, in order not to break the surface tension and drown. Financially, I mean.
Mentally, though, it’s the opposite. It takes a ton of “soft focus” to grand jeté from one task to another related but disparate task… Over and over. Without going bonkers. (This morning, I am working on a Headspace module on that very subject.)
So I guess the short story is, it helps for me to have a break from the computers and enjoy the simple technology of wind, waves, and sail.
Wait… What’s that on the steering pedestal there? Another computer! In this iPad in my hand? Another computer!
Oh, well. At least I’m sailing.
The Sound Of Silence
And then there’s this. I believe it goes back to my time touring with a certain rock band. Or something. And it’s another thing I’m working with Headspace on.
I’m not a big fan of noise. I treasure the moment when I switch off the engine aboard Jacie Sails, and like a security blanket around me falls the sound…of the wind in the sails.
(You thought I was gonna say silence, didn’t you? Nope. But even better than the sound of silence is the burbling of water along the hull, resonating throughout the vessel, and the gentle luffing of the sails in the breeze.)
It’s not just the sounds themselves, I guess. It’s that I have to attach an emotion or judgment to them. “What an asshat to be letting their dog bark like that!” “What an asshat to be blasting your stereo like that!” “What an asshat to be playing ESPN on your iPhone on the patio of the Mexican restaurant while we have other music going on!”
Okay, so I guess I need to work on that. Or just go sailing.
A Little Me Time
Like I don’t like noise, I don’t like crowds.
There’s a great quote by George Carlin, something to the effect of him liking people one on one, but not so much when they join up in groups and start to wear armbands.
Can I blame Moitessier? Bernard Moitessier wrote The Long Way, arguably one of the most beautiful books about sailing. (Well, as far as you know. It’s written in French. So either it’s beautifully written, or the translator is awesome.)
Moitessier was even crankier than I am, and he loved his “me time.” With victory in sight in the first round-the-world solo race, he decided that instead of heading toward the finish line, he’d just continue sailing nonstop another half lap around the planet. He landed in Tahiti, from where he sent for his family. In no particular hurry.
I enjoy sharing the joy of sailing with friends sometimes, and often with The Admiral — but I enjoy my alone time aboard Jacie Sails. Nobody to answer to, no unexpected additions to my schedule, just me and the sea — and the infinite loop of devilishly catchy but usually stupid song clips playing in my head.
I wonder what I can do about those?
Why do you cruise? Or want to go cruising? Let me know in the comments below!